If you own an Android or an Apple mobile phone, you probably have at one time or another asked Siri or Google to get you a business listing on the fly. Maybe you were in the car and needed directions or were busy working from home and needed a quick lunch delivery option and lacked the time to type your request into the phone or laptop.
Searches like “Hey Google, is there a pizza place nearby?” Or “Hey Siri, find me the nearest dry cleaner” are examples of what’s called voice search.
Voice search has been deemed the future of search for some time now, and while it has not exactly taken over search in general, it is gaining a bit of steam year after year in terms of search volume. So it makes good sense for businesses to understand what it is, how it differs from local search or search in general and if it will benefit their marketing strategies.
Firstly, voice search is similar to local SEO in that it often proffers the best results nearest the user’s location. Because mobile phones often enable GPS tracking, voice search is a great way of targeting nearby businesses to minimize the inconvenience of travel or delivery time.
So for business that will benefit from the convenience of location, ensuring voice search optimization is part of their marketing strategies can be important for growth.
Let’s say, for instance, you’re looking for a local barber. Voice search assumes you are looking for one of the best, well reviewed barbers near your location. Obviously, for most it makes no sense to find a great barber across town. Location must be an important factor in the results that particular search provides. Therefore, it’s important to not only establish leadership online (with both content and reviews) but also establish location. Through technical strategies and content strategies, it’s important to fold these elements into your online marketing approach anyway, but if you want to have a big presence in voice searches, you’ve got to ensure that these components maintain a priority.
Confusing address documentation online and complaints about your brand will tank any effort to make it into voice search rankings. So in that sense, it’s a lot like local search. However, it’s voice search, so establishing a conversational tone in your content can be a new approach you might want to incorporate. For example, having content that addresses common questions customers might have can be an important strategy for your brand. Creating content targeting questions like, “How much does dry-cleaning cost near me,” might involve phrasing your content around the cost of dry-cleaning in your business around location (the general area does your business serves) and a quick-and-dirty rundown of rates customers would pay.
Titling your post to match the question it answers is also a great way to target voice search.
Additionally, it’s important to phrase your responses to these common questions, simply and concisely. This will help your content rise in the rankings quickly. Confusing or muddle language only produces quick bounces from your website.
Of course, there are a ton of different tactics to manage when enacting a robust and effective voice search optimization strategy online, but if you’re consistent and follow the basic approach of providing conversational responses for common questions, you’ll be ahead of the pack of competitors who typically set and forget any search strategy they are engaging.